The recent UN General Assembly has been characterized by many interventions which are shaking the public opinion. Surely, the speech by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was much awaited and followed by World media. The Arab-Israeli conflict is one of the thorniest problems in the worldwide political scene and seems to have no end. The words of the Palestinian leader were strong, sincere, forthright and free from euphemisms and false moralism. According to The Guardian Mr. Abbas “called for the international community to recognise Palestine as a state under occupation in the same way that countries were occupied in the second world war”(1).
His speech focused on many aspects of the war between Palestine and Israel. Particularly, he highlighted how this conflict is unsustainable and is threatening many innocent civilians. Furthermore, Mr. Abbas strongly criticized and slammed the political line of Netanyahu which was defined disrespectful of previous peace treaties and exclusively in favor of Israel. Furthermore, according to The Guardian “Abbas also accused Israel of risking turning a political conflict into a religious one over the issue of Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque – the focus of recent clashes”(2).
The presence of the Palestinian President represented a historic moment for Palestine for various reasons. For example, for the first time the Palestinian flag was hoisted in the headquarter of United Nations. Mr. Abbas commented about this issue “In this historical moment, I say to my people everywhere: raise the flag of Palestinians very high because it is the symbol of our identity; It is a proud day”(3). This episode was considered a signal of hope and an omen for a peaceful solution after years of wars and violences. Even the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon mentioned the importance and the great value of this action. He commented about this issue “Now is the time to restore confidence by both Israelis and Palestinians for a peaceful settlement and, at last, the realization of two states for two peoples”.
Obviously, these episodes have also attracted critics, arguments and negative speculations. Particularly, the Israeli officials immediately rejected the Palestinian proposal and criticized the speech of Mr. Abbas. The Israeli PM Netanyahu said about him “Abu Mazen’s speech was deceitful and encourages incitement and lawlessness in the Middle East”(5). Furthermore, the Israeli leader said that Palestine spread mystifications and misleading news to exacerbate an atmosphere of hostility.
Particularly, the Israeli officials highlighted that the Palestinian President described the Israeli policy on Temple Mount in a completely wrong way. Mr. Netanyahu said about this issue “I will stress that unfortunately, the Palestinians continue to spread blatant lies about our policy on Temple Mount, and I will demand an end to this wild incitement”(6). Furthermore, he underlined his dream to favor a peaceful solution in this area always maintaining the Israeli control in these territories. Lastly, he hinted at the nuclear threat from Iran and the dangers of the widespread terrorism in Middle East.
The Israeli Prime Minister also discussed about Iran and its new nuclear program. Mr. Netanyahu portrayed Teheran as a serious military threat against Israel. According to Reuters UK he “used his annual United Nations address on Thursday to launch an all-out assault on the historic nuclear deal with Iran, warning that his country would never let the Islamic Republic join the atomic weapons club”(7). Furthermore, he declared “once international sanctions are lifted, unleashed and unmuzzled, Iran will go on the prowl”(8). Lastly, the Israeli officials underlined their intentions to use military force against Iran, in the case where this nation may become dangerous and ready to use nuclear weapons towards Israel.